From today’s Employment Situation report from the BLS:
1. Manufacturing employment increased by 34,000 jobs in December, bringing the total increase in factory payrolls for the year to 180,000. The 180,000 gain in factory jobs last year follows previous annual increases of 233,000 jobs in 2011 and 109,000 jobs in 2010 – that’s a 522,000 increase in manufacturing employment over the last three years, and brings factory jobs in the U.S. to their highest level since April 2009.
2. Transportation equipment jobs increased by 5,6000 for the month of December and by almost 70,000 jobs for the year, reflecting the strong demand and sales for new vehicles, which reached a 5-year high in 2012.
3. Construction jobs increased by 30,000 last month, as the housing sector continues to recover. On a quarterly basis, the 45,000 increase in construction jobs for the October-December period was one of the largest three-month gains since 2006.
4. Reflecting America’s booming shale revolution, which has brought U.S. crude oil production to its highest level since 1993, oil and gas extraction jobs increased in December to a 25-year high of 198,400, the highest number of direct drilling jobs since December 1987. For the year, more than 12,000 new oil and gas extraction jobs were added, which is a rate of 50 new energy-related jobs every day – and that’s just for drilling jobs and doesn’t count all of the additional indirect jobs created throughout the supply chain for oil and gas drilling (transportation, equipment, sand, housing, etc.).
Bottom line: As reflected in today’s employment report, three of the strongest sectors of the U.S. economy continue to be manufacturing (including motor vehicles), housing (construction) and energy (oil and gas drilling). Looking forward, we can expect ongoing expansion in output and jobs from those three engines of U.S. economic growth in 2013.